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A Few Facts Regarding the Mental Aspects Of Tennis

1. During a match, you are actually hitting the ball only about 25% of the time, the rest of the time you are just thinking about what is going on. This is why tennis is such a mental game.

2. When you play up to your potential, you are thinking very little on the court and your behavior and performance on the court are controlled by your “automatic pilot,” your subconscious mind.

3. In order to play up to your potential, you as a player need to learn to avoid overthinking, or overanalyzing what is taking place on the court. This is not easy, particularly when you are not playing well or when you are facing a difficult opponent. Learning how to stop thinking, how to think at the right time and how to think in the right way are crucial steps for the achievement of your goals as a tennis player.

4. Anger destroys your concentration, because anger is one of the biggest distractions that an athlete can face. Anger is just one letter short of “danger.” Now, consider this: without thoughts, there are no emotions! Consequently, if you cannot control what you think, you cannot control what you feel. Controlling your emotions is not an easy task, however, and only a few players can accomplish it without training-- (about 5% of the tennis population). If you are in this 5% of the population, consider yourself very fortunate!

5. Those players who make it to the top usually have some kind of mental training in their development. However, because this is the biggest edge they have over their opponents, they do not talk about it very often and they keep it as their “secret weapon.” When I interviewed several top professional tennis players during my doctoral dissertation research (1988-91), I asked them about their mental toughness strategies. None of them wanted to share with me this information until I signed an agreement with them stating that I will not release that information for the next 10 years.

6. Stanford University, one of the most successful tennis programs in the nation, started mental training withtheir players many years ago. Alex Kim, one of my students, was a member of their team, in part due to his great ability to concentrate and control his emotions in critical situations during competition.

Mental preparation is like physical training and consequently requires knowledge and the application of principles based on proven research. I have been doing research and working with junior, college, and professional tennis players since 1988. During these years, I also had the opportunity to work as an assistant coach for the University of Kansas and learn from many great coaches, including Dennis Ralston, Antonio Palafox, Raul Ramirez, Scott Perelmen, Sujay Lama, JoAnne Russell, Mike Wolf, Rafael Font de Mora, Matias Polowsky, Michael Center, Doug Davis, Brain Teacher, Jaime Cortes, Jose Naranjo, Ashley Hobson, Jim Weinacker and others. I believe that as a sport psychologist specialized in tennis, I need to know this sport first hand. Therefore, I play tennis regularly and compete in a few tournaments every year. I apply the mental toughness principles and techniques that I teach to my students both on and off the tennis court.

The Valverde System has been proven to increase the tennis player’s ability to play up to his/her potential. That is why you can benefit from using this program for 60 days risk free. The Valverde System focuses on five key areas: confidence, concentration, emotional control, academic excellence, and life skills.